Thursday, June 3, 2010

Building Valve Amplifiers

This is a series of article on the actual work & design consideration when I build valve amplifier.

Tube amplifier is an electronic equipment, so it is natural to neglect the need for the mechanical works involved... you can't get anywhere without planing the mechanical layout of a valve amplifier.

The mechanical works involved are mostly in the chassis.

How about aesthetic appeal?
This is too subjective a subject to discuss, in my humble opinion, If the chassis layout is superb, it will always look good. but one thing for sure, a poor layout always looks ugly.

Chassis Layout
There is enough stuff to write a book on this topic alone but I won't torture the readers with my lousy writing skill... Instead, a summarised criteria.
  • Rigid Chassis to take the weight of the irons & owner abuse.
  • Electromagnetic induction, Components must be positioned/spaced correctly in relative to each other to minimise electromagnetic induction, mostly concern the placement of transformer, chokes & valves.
  • The connecting wires between each components should be as short as possible to minimise chances of hum induce into the signal & excessive voltage drop.
  • All components must be mounted securely & rigidly as all components are microphonic to some degree, hence any vibration will affect the final acoustical result.
  • Provide sufficient ventilation to minimise heat build up.

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